A two-day drill,Â Exercise 24 (X24),Â was launched today by San Diego State University’s Immersive Visualization Center in large part to test how social media would be used to respond to a crisis. According to a CNN.com article, “Fake Earthquake Disaster Drill Tests Facebook, Twitter”:
The idea is to test the speed and widen the scope of responses to a major disaster, focusing on how social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be used.Â ”Ultimately, the goal is to get there faster, respond more effectively to save lives, communities, businesses, etc.,” read a written release on the drill.Â Organizers said that all messages about the fictional disaster would be marked clearly as fake on the Web.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m. ET, organizers began sending fictional messages from an account on Twitter reporting the disaster.
“#X24 IS A TEST, NOT REAL [link] CNN.com Earthquake strikes coast of Southern and Baja California http://bit.ly/Exer24 1 …,” was the first mention.
Instead of a CNN story, the link went to a Web page explaining the drill and how users can participate.Â As time went on, details included reports of snapped bridges, severe flooding and a tsunami on the way.
“#X24 IS A TEST, NOT REAL TV said large wave headed toward coastline! Everyone get out! http://bit.ly/Exer24 3-9 …,” read a later post.